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1MDB told to file statement of claim of its lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and six others

KUALA LUMPUR (July 28): The High Court has directed 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to file the statement of claim for its US$4.923 billion lawsuit by Sept 2, against Deutsche Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, Swiss-based Coutts & Co Ltd, JP Morgan (Switzerland) Ltd, PetroSaudi International Ltd, PetroSaudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd, Saudi national Tarek Obaid and Patrick Mahony.

The directive was made by the High Court's Civil Division senior assistant registrar Noordura Mohamed Din following case management via e-review today. She also fixed Sept 2 for the next case management.

Joseph Wong from Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership appeared for 1MDB, while Deutsche Bank was represented by Melvin Ng from Messrs Rahmat Lim & Partners.

Noordura also allowed 1MDB to use substitute service, which is a mode of serving legal documents on the defendants via advertisements or — as the defendants are overseas in this case — seek assistance from Malaysia's foreign embassy in the respective countries where the defendants are, to do so.

It is understood Tarek is in Switzerland. He and Mahony, who is in the United States, have been jointly charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court along with fugitive Low Taek Jho in February last year, with criminal conspiracy in the embezzlement of 1MDB funds.

1MDB is suing all seven defendants for negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, conspiracy and dishonest assistance. The suit is part of six suits seeking over US$23 billion filed by 1MDB on May 7 against various individuals and companies that it alleged were involved in the siphoning of funds from the wealth fund in a financial scandal that spanned several countries.

1MDB, together with the Malaysian government and its owner Ministry of Finance Inc, also earlier this month filed a US$5.64 billion suit against audit firm KPMG.

However, 1MDB's US$1 billion suit against its former legal firm Wong & Partners and the latter's lawyer Brian Chia Hock Gee — part of the six main suits mentioned earlier — was dropped, reported on Monday.

Sept 2 also fixed for management of four other 1MDB-related cases

Meanwhile, checks through the court's e-filing system revealed that Noordura also fixed Sept 2 for case management of 1MDB's US$6.59 billion suit against its former president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former Treasury secretary general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar.

In the suit, 1MDB claimed the duo are liable for fraudulent breach of duties and fraudulent breach of trust, which resulted in the fund paying a sum of US$1.83 billion to 1MDB PetroSaudi Ltd, which was converted into stakes in Brazen Sky and then converted into investment in Bridge Global Fund. 1MDB also claimed the duo allegedly committed fraudulent breach of duties and breach of trust towards International Petroleum Investment Corp (IPIC) and Aabar PJS, which resulted in US$1.265 billion being paid to IPIC on May 9, 2017 as part of a consent award and US$3.5 billion being misappropriated from the company to Aabar BVI.

In total, 1MDB is claiming US$6.59 billion from the duo as a result of the purported breach and an additional RM2.9 million against Irwan Serigar.

Another three suits fixed for further case management on Sept 2 include the RM167 million suit filed by SRC International Sdn Bhd and its two subsidiaries — Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Jendela Pinggiran Sdn Bhd — against former SRC senior executives Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, Datuk Abdul Aziz Ismail, Datuk Rashidi Che Omar and Datuk Mohammed Azhar Osman Khairuddin.

The other two suits are: the RM6 million suit filed by SRC and its two subsidiaries against Umno; and the RM42 million suit filed by SRC and Gandingan Mentari against former premier Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

Over at the High Court's Commercial Division, deputy registrar Suriani Ujang today fixed Aug 3 for case management before Justice Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin of SRC's RM4 billion breach of fiduciary duty suit against Suboh, Najib, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, Mohammad Azhar, Nik Faisal and Rashidi. The suit is over them not taking reasonable steps to ensure the RM4 billion loan given by Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) between 2011 and 2012 were used properly to finance the company's investment activities and working capital.

These SRC lawsuits, also filed on May 7, are part of the 16 suits the company filed that day together with the six filed by 1MDB. In total, with the dropping of the legal action against Wong & Partners and the addition of the KPMG suit, 1MDB and its subsidiaries have filed 22 suits against various individuals and entities over the embezzlement that happened at the strategic investment company.

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28 July 2021

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